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Turkish Press Review, 04-06-14
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From: Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information <http://www.byegm.gov.tr><LINK href="http://www.byegm.gov.tr_yayinlarimiz_chr_pics_css/tpr.css" rel=STYLESHEET type=text/css> e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org <caption> <_caption> Summary of the political and economic news in the Turkish press this morning
14.06.2004FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 OIC MEETING TO BEGIN TODAY IN ISTANBULThe 31st foreign ministerial meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is to commence today in Istanbul. Representatives of 57 Muslim countries will gather to discuss problems facing the Muslim world. The meeting’s agenda includes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the issues of Iraq and Cyprus, international terrorism and the US-proposed Greater Middle East Initiative (GME). Among the many items to be discussed during the meeting, two are of special importance to Turkey: the election of a new OIC secretary-general and efforts to end the international isolation of the Turkish republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The three-day meeting is set to begin with a speech by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. In related news, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday held bilateral meetings with his Lebanese, Syrian and Malaysian counterparts as well as outgoing OIC Secretary-General Abdulvahid Belkeziz. /All Papers/
 ARINC: “EU MEMBERSHIP HAS BEEN TURKEY’S GOAL FOR 40 YEARS”Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, who is currently paying a visit to Germany, yesterday met with representatives of Turkish associations in that country. Speaking at the gathering, Arinc said: “European Union membership has been Turkey’s aim for 40 years.” Stressing that all Turkish governments had made progress towards this goal, Arinc said that some mistakes had also regrettably been made, adding, “If not for these mistakes, we could have joined the Union some time ago, at the same time as Greece.” The Parliament speaker also called on Turks in Germany to adapt themselves to the society in which they live without losing their own values. /Turkiye/
 ERDOGAN: “TALK OF ‘ISLAMIC TERRORISM’ IS UNACCEPTABLE”Speaking in Chicago at a conference on the Middle East on Saturday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the expression “Islamic terrorism” unacceptable, arguing that terrorism could be identified with no single religion, language, race or country. Also present at the conference were former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, US Congresswoman Jane Harman, and Princeton University’s Bernard Lewis, a specialist on the Mideast and Turkey. “One can not speak of ‘moderate Islam’ prevailing in Turkey,” said Erdogan. “For saying ‘moderate Islam’ implies its counterpart, ‘radical Islam.” Also touching on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Erdogan said, “I think that both the Palestinian and Israeli nations want peace. They must first believe in peace, since this is a psychological process.” The premier urged powerful nations and leaders who want Mideast peace to continue prodding the Palestinians and Israelis. “My government and nation are ready to fulfill our responsibilities,” added Erdogan. For his part, Barak said that Turkey should be admitted to the European Union as soon as possible. He further stressed Turkey’s important role in fighting terrorism. “In our fight with terrorism, regional countries such as Turkey are more important than the US,” added Barak. In related news, Erdogan yesterday met with former Israeli Prime Minister Simon Peres. During their talks, Erdogan said that Ankara wanted to preserve good relations with Israel. /Aksam/
 THREE GERMAN TURKS WIN EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT SEATSThree ethnic Turks won European Parliament seats from Germany yesterday in nation- and European Union-wide polls. Vural Oger from Germany’s ruling Social Democratic Party (SDP), Cem Ozdemir from the Greens Party, and Feleknaz Uca from the Democratic Socialists are set to serve five-year terms in the EP. /Hurriyet/
 POLISH PRESIDENT CALLS TURKEY’S EU BID A “HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY”Speaking to Austrian daily Rundsschau yesterday, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said that he supported Turkey’s European Union membership bid. “Ankara has committed itself to fulfilling the Union’s requirements,” said Kwasniewski. “I believe that Turkey will be an EU member. If modern Turkey joins the EU, this will be an historic opportunity.” Kwasniewski added that Poland, one of 10 nations which joined the Union this May, would not stand in the way of Turkey’s aspirations. /Hurriyet/  SECURITY DIMENSION OF GME TO TAKE SHAPE AT NATO SUMMIT
The US government is planning to add a security dimension to its Greater Middle East Initiative (GME) during the month-end NATO summit in Istanbul. NATO’s role in the GME will take priority at the summit. Under the latest NATO plan, cooperation will be improved through practical steps. /Cumhuriyet/
 WITH 5,000-METER BREAKTHROUGH, ABEYLEGESSE BECOMES TURKEY’S FIRST WORLD RECORD HOLDERTurkish runner Elvan Abeylegesse on Saturday broke the women’s 5,000 meter world record at Norway’s Bergen Bislett Games. The Ethiopian-born athlete became Turkey’s first-ever world record holder with her time of 14.24.68, nearly 4 seconds faster than the old record, which belonged to China’s Jiang Bo and had stood for seven years. /Star/
 FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS…FROM THE COLUMNS
 UNDER THE DOME OF ISLAM IN ISTANBUL BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI (STAR)Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli comments on the Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting in Istanbul. A summary of her column is as follows:
“During the section during last week’s G-8 summit on the US’ Greater Middle East Initiative (GME), Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a very important trump card, that is, Turkey’s geographical location. Certain circles underlined Turkey’s Muslim identity while ignoring its democratic and secular government, and this caused its role of a bridge between the East and West to be seen as a disadvantage. Although certain circles within the EU highlight its ‘cultural difference’ at every opportunity, Turkey recently struck back and the summits this month in Istanbul are the fruit of this. The first summit will start today, with the gathering of the ministers of 57 Organization for the Islamic Conference (OIC) member countries. The logo chosen for the summit is very meaningful, as it shows the East and West uniting under the dome of Islam.
The first item on the summit’s agenda is the election of a new OIC secretary-general. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is Turkey’s candidate for this position. Malaysia and Bangladesh have candidates as well. Now Turkey has the support of most of the Asian group, and the votes of African countries will be the determining factor. The second item on the agenda is transforming the OIC into a more united group, one better at quick decision- making. The OIC is expected to call for parties in the Mideast to follow the road map for the region. The Iraq issue is the most problematic issue facing the OIC. Almost all the member countries expect the transfer of power in Iraq to the Iraqi people. However, everybody knows that OIC member countries might be shaken by an ensuing political chaos. The last issue on the agenda will be the Cyprus issue. Turkey will emphasize that the Turkish Cypriots should be supported by Muslim countries and try to make the OIC accept the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to the organization as the Turkish Cypriot State. Other related decisions are expected as well.
* Lifting the international embargo on the TRNC and Islamic countries’ establishing trade with it,
* Starting direct flights from Islamic countries to the TRNC,
* Making the TRNC a top tourist destination,
* Having the TRNC’s universities recognized by Islamic countries, and citizens of OIC member countries making use of these institutions.
The OIC summit is very important for Turkey. However, it has another important role. This summit will be a rehearsal for the month-end NATO summit in Istanbul. These two summits will once more emphasize Istanbul’s dual Muslim and Western character.”
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